Residents of the Umbrian town of Perugia gathered on Sunday 28 August evening in the main square to eat pasta all'Amatriciana in support of the earthquake victims from neighbouring communities.

Towns all over Italy have taken part in the event, collecting money for the victims of the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which hit the regions of Lazio and Le Marche bordering Umbria on Wednesday 24 August. At least 290 people have died.

Some 500 people took part in the initiative that served up the local speciality pasta and sauce, which hails from the town of Amatrice badly hit by the quake.

"The Amatriciana is a typical recipe coming from Amatrice which is one of the towns most badly affected by the earthquake. It is also an Italian product known internationally. It is a recipe based on bacon, onion, peeled tomatoes, pepper, oil and salt and lots of love.

Because this country has a lot of love to sell, a great wish for community, and a great wish to get back on its feet." All donations were made at the discretion of the pasta eaters and the collected money will be used to provide essentials such as food and drinks to the quake victims," said Chef Giuseppe Vaccaro.

The central Umbria region also experienced a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in 1997 which brought devastation to the region – with parts of the ceiling of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi collapsing.